Here are some of the everyday things you need to know about living in a winter city.
Seasonal Parking Bans
A seasonal parking ban on designated bus routes goes into effect with at least 8 hours notice when a significant snowfall leads to plowing on major roadways. When the ban is in effect, vehicles parked in locations with “Seasonal Parking Ban” signs are subject to tagging and towing.
The ban remains in effect until the City declares it is over. Don’t park on a plowed bus route until the ban has been officially lifted.
Edmonton Transit Services (ETS) in Winter
Edmonton Transit Services (ETS) offers a number of winter-friendly programs:
Stop Request is a program that allows passengers to disembark at a location other than a bus stop along the route, provided the Operator deems it safe to do so. The program provides an added measure of convenience and safety for bus passengers by reducing walking distance. The program is in effect daily after 6pm. You must inform the Operator directly (do not ring the bell) at least one stop in advance of where you wish to get off. Exit by the front door once the Operator is able to safely stop the bus.
Cycling is a great way to travel more sustainably and also a perfect opportunity to stay active and adopt a healthy lifestyle. The first snowfall doesn’t have to mean the end of bike season. Cycling in the winter is much like preparing for other outdoor winter activities, like skiing. With a few adjustments you can keep cycling through the winter.
For bike routes and cycling information, check out these pages:
Snow and ice that remains on sidewalks is hazardous for everyone, but especially for people with limited mobility who may be severely injured from a fall on ice or snow. Uncleared walkways also make it difficult for people who deliver services in our city — like mail carriers, meter readers, delivery drivers, firefighters and paramedics — to do their jobs safely.
For more information, tips on snow removal, where to get free sand, and how to register a concern, check out the City’s page on Winter Sidewalk Maintenance.
Outdoor Skating Rinks and Indoor Arenas
Skaters have several choices for public outdoor ice skating surfaces in Edmonton. Community Services maintains both ground and pond ice rinks in the major parks. It is recommended that children or inexperienced skaters use an approved helmet while on the ice to prevent injuries. Check out Outdoor Skating and Ice Rinks for facility conditions and hours.
Drop in at an arena for free public skating, participate in shinny hockey, or figure skating, or register for skating or hockey lessons. Renting ice is very popular - many skating clubs, hockey teams, professional athletes, and sports groups use City ice. There are also meeting rooms, multi-purpose rooms, tournament rooms, and a hall available in some arenas for booking. Check out Indoor Arenas.
Feel the urge to soar down a snow-covered hill and feel the brisk wind nip your cheeks? The City maintains toboggan hills at several locations with safe run-outs, safety signs and reduced hazards.
Explore Edmonton's winter wonderland on snowshoes. Snowshoeing, a traditional mode of transportation for Canadian Indigenous Peoples, remains one of the best and most practical ways to travel on deep snow. Snowshoeing provides transportation for exploring, bird and wildlife viewing, or exercise.
Most City trails are packed down, so snowshoes perform best in areas that are more open, but off the beaten track, like Terwillegar Park.
Edmonton's expansive river valley and parks system is a perfect cross-country skiing destination. The trails at Gold Bar/Goldstick, Kinsmen, and Snow Valley are lit at night for evening or night skiing.
For trail maps, grooming information and trail conditions check out Cross-County Skiing. Also see page for additional trail conditions and local cross-country ski events.